Step Up Revolution

I’ll be honest, I’m actually very disappointed by this movie.

Not that I didn’t recognize it for crap from a mile away, of course I did, c’mon. But when I caught the line “Enough with performance art, it’s time for protest art” in the trailer, my ears perked up. I sat up a little straighter in my seat. That’s a line that shows a LOT of  potential… some awesomely awful potential. Combined with the preposterous concept, I had hopes that this movie might be a ridiculously enjoyable block of cheese.

Alas, it was not to be.

It’s my sad duty to report that “Step Up Revolution” isn’t deliciously bad, it’s just plain old bad.

“Step Up Revolution” focuses on the antics of an underground troupe of dancers based in Miami known as “The Mob”. “The Mob” performs elaborate group dances in public, disrupting the normal ebb and flow of society at the moment in that spot. They’re a “Flash Mob”.

They’re currently attempting to win a contest on YouTube, where the first channel to get ten million hits will be awarded $100,000. Soon, however, it comes to their attention that a wealthy developer (Peter Gallagher) has targeted their neighborhood for high rises. They’re in danger of losing their homes and businesses. Complicating the situation is the fact that one of the two leaders of “The Mob” (Ryan Guzman) has fallen for the developer’s daughter (Kathryn McCormick), and she for him. She’s a talented dancer in her own right, and competing to earn a spot in a prestigious dance company. When she learns about “The Mob”… she wants in. It’s not long after she joins that she suggests “The Mob” fight back against her father’s expansion plans. It’s her idea to make the move from performance art to protest art. At her suggestion, “The Mob” turns their attention to blocking his efforts and drawing attention to the plague of corporate greed.

Which may sound pointless, until you realize that “The Mob” exists in a world where the cops only show up if the plot needs a late second act downbeat. Otherwise, the streets and museums and restaraunts and office buildings of Miami are theirs. They have unlimited time to perform without fear of interruption or reprisal. Which is a good thing, because with their bottomless budget and instantaneous rehearsal ability, they manage to put on some extremely elaborate shows! It’s a good thing that the business of Miami that they target are constantly hiring low-level employees so that “The Mob” can infiltrate as waiters and security guards and busboys and djs, etc, etc. “The Mob” is basically a crunking, break dancing Cirque du Soleil that has the ability to strike with completely new routines at a moments notice.

Which is ludicrous, c’mon, I should love that! The problem is, they don’t actually have any fun characters, there’s not enough goofiness to the time between routines. In fact, there’s not enough time between routines in any regard. “Step Up Revolution” is so concerned with its elaborate performance numbers that it squeezes out almost everything in between. It’s almost like a continuous flash mob video. The time that did space the set pieces was spent mainly on the romance between Guzman and McCormick, and let’s just say neither one of threaten to be the next Tatum or Dewan (who just landed a key role in American Horror Story s2). It’s unfortunate, but outside of the very concept itself, we weren’t given a lot of fun stupidity to work with. If I had time to think of thinks like, “After taxes that $100,000 from YouTube is more like $70,000, and then there’s 10 core people in the mob, so after taxes these guys would at best be making like seven grand off of this… and that’s before netting expenses,” you know the movie wasn’t capturing me.

 I had been hoping for a movie that would earn a split grade. I had desperately wanted to see an F/A movie here. But the promise of the “Enough with performance art, it’s time for protest art” line was never delivered upon aside from the sublimely delivered “I want to join the Mob” (not a hint of irony LOL).

It’s just plain old bad.



19 thoughts on “Step Up Revolution

  1. I wouldn’t see that under the threat of death, saw the trailer for it before Prometheus and felt embarassed for those people who were in it.

  2. I was all set to either see The Watch or Step Up Revilution today. So I went out to lunch before the show, got in my car and went right back home. Looks like I made a good decision. (At least I got a great lunch out of it)

    • Yeah, I mean… I love going to the movies… but this weekend you’re probably better off watching the Olympics or something.

      Neither one is the worst movie ever, but, they sure as hell arent going to make anyone’s year end top ten lists, LOL!

  3. So… since you’re seeing just about everything in the theatres now, including the really awful stuff… have the ticket takers started to recognize you as a regular yet? Do they give nods of sympathy when you hand them your ticket for dreck like this?

    • 😀

      I do, in fact, know several of the employees by name. I have some that I enjoy talking to more than others… get a little disappointed if they’re not on that night. We do laugh about the offerings if they suck, yes. 😀

      I dont go to the same theatre 100% of the time, but I would easily qualify as a “Regular” at my hometown theatre.

  4. OK, I get it. These films can easily be enjoyed because of the crazy colors popping out everywhere, the insane-o dance moves these muthatruckas pull off, and the beat-tastic music. However, this flick is absolutely terrible with a script that features cliche after cliche, music that doesn’t even feature any rap whatsoever, instead it’s all that dubstep shit that I need to take ecstasy to actually feel, and a pair of leads that honestly feel like cardboard cut-outs of Channing Tatum and whoever his wife is. I’m sorry Fogs, but this movie just plain and simply sucked, but it’s still not the worst movie of the year. That review is coming up soon. Good review man. I’m at least glad somebody took a chance going to see this, too.

    • Yeah, well, I knew it was going to suck from a mile away. But going in I had hoped it would be laughable. It wasn’t. Definite candidate right now for my year end ten worst listing… definite candidate

  5. I think a movie like this really only needs to showcase great dancing to be worth one’s time, and it does that well. 3D actually makes for a really good stage for the kind of energetic dancing that’s displayed here, and all of that makes for an entertaining if not terribly substantive 90 minutes. The other thing to consider– this thing is ridiculous and it knows it. More than that, it pretty much admits it. I don’t know if that excuses its inherent silliness but it does invite us to enjoy it for what it is and laugh at its trashiness.

    • I think it fails at that though. I was looking forward to laughing at its trashiness, and I couldnt. It had too much drah-mah in the romance and not enough dumbness scattered about in the non dance scenes.

      I would totally disagree with the “I think a movie like this really only needs to showcase great dancing to be worth one’s time” I think these movies definitely need to offer something more than that to be recommendable, but I was more than willing to point out the cheesey enjoyment factor if it was, in fact there. I just… didn’t think it was at all.

      • Not enough dumbness? I don’t know– there’s just line after line of patently ridiculous dialogue from every single person here, and then there’s the fact that this is basically Ocean’s 11 but with break dancing. (And a fraction of the wit and style, but you know what I mean.) I chuckled like mad at this thing.

        And absolutely movies like this only need to really be good at that one thing. It’s like action movies. We don’t go to see action films for great drama, or intricate character work. We go to see people beat ass in grand fashion. This isn’t the dance equivalent of The Raid, but we all loved the hell out of that movie and while it works better as a total film, the principle is the same. All that The Raid needed to do to be successful was put on great fight scenes and tie it together with adequate everything else. I think all that Step Up Harderer needs to do is provide great dancing and bind each scene together with whatever connective tissue it can muster. It doesn’t make for memorable cinema, but man, those dance scenes are pretty killer.

      • I suppose that works on some kind of philosophical level… If you’re putting together a logic theorem or something..l

        But experientially it falls apart. Perhaps because the fight scenes further the plot of a movie more than the dance scenes do? There’s no risk in those scenes, once it begins, there’s going to be an execution of it, and then the story will pick up once it’s over again.

        Within an action sequence you’re still wondering/worrying about what may happen. In those dance scenes they were just going o safely dance, the end.

        And yeah, there was tons of dumbness, but I didn’t have any fun with it. Why some dumb is fun and some dumb isn’t, I don’t know…

      • I can’t reply to your last post for some reason. But be that as it may…

        I don’t disagree with your analysis, buddy. This isn’t the sort of movie where we have to guess at the outcome, and the people involved in each dance scene aren’t really putting themselves at any serious risk (because I don’t really consider what the characters are risking to be all that risky, if you get what I mean).

        But I do think that this movie is basically just an excuse to show off how great these people are at dancing, and in that regard I do think it succeeds. It’s dumb as a bag of bricks but damn can the cast break it down. I think that’s what I’m getting at more than anything– the movie by design cannot wow me with great dramatics, but it can wow me with the physical prowess of its performers. In that respect I have to give it some props.

        Not many, mind, because again– stupid. Bag. Bricks. But props nonetheless.

  6. I still haven’t had a chance to see TDKR yet. I was thinking of using my precious movie-without-the-kids time on Step Up Revolution instead, but this review…

    Nope, can’t even pretend. This could be the Citizen Kane of the Dance/Video Game Fad Movies, and I wouldn’t see it.

    • LOL. Had me for a second there. I was like, whaaaaaat? 😀

      Dude. I would have liked it if it was stupid enough to be fun. But it wasn’t. It was lik 90% group dance and then they filled the rest with ballet.

      I was ready to jump off a bridge

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